Counting Down the Top 10 in … NIGERIA!

1. Wande Coal ft. Don Jazzy, “The Kick”

Wande Coal interpolates Ini Kamoze’s “Here Comes the Hotstepper” on a beat by Don Jazzy to dicuss booty calls. Coal made the move from Mo’Hits records to Don Jazzy’s new label Mavin Records when Jazzy and his former business partner D’banj split up. I like the horror movie theme chimes, sneaky bass line, and the kick itself, but there is so much pitch-shifted gravy on the vocals.

Grade: B-

Best YouTube Comment: “this one go cause trouble this summer” — DonArogundade

2. Ice Prince ft. Sarkodie, Mercy Johnson, Wizkid, M.I & Khuli Chana, “Aboki (Remix)”

More Auto-Tuned EDM-themed Gbedu-rock. This posse cut remix features Nollywood actress Mercy Johnson turning down Ice Prince on the grounds that she’s already married. Van Halen “Jump” synths, a string section, AOR guitar, lots of drums, and maybe a banjo? It’s a mess.

Grade: C-


3. Wizkid, “Thank You”

Wizkid recently won a BET award for “Best International Act — Africa,” is signed to Akon’s label, and endorses Pepsi. When he isn’t making music, the 22-year-old from Lagos is working on his sociology degree. Wizkid’s been acclaimed for his ability to combine pop, rap, and Afrobeat into something that unfortunately sounds a little like Flo Rida here. The twinkling highlife guitars make it better than your average pop-rap top 40 hit.

Grade: C+

Best YouTube Comment: “wizy is the main man” — chimera sills udochukwu

4. Iyanya, “Flavor”

I keep trying to imagine some of these songs without Auto-Tune, and then being annoyed there isn’t just some way to filter Auto-Tune off of things. DeAutoTune. Somebody invent that for me now. Then I’d be able to tell you how I really feel about “Flavor.” I am being somewhat positively influenced by the excellent dancing videos on YouTube.

Grade: B

Best YouTube Comment: “Baybay he needs to bring his fine self to the west coast USA. Men over here need to learn how to wine like that. Lord have mercy.” — takeme2mars

5. Samklef ft. Olamide, “Suwe (Remix)”

More inescapable Auto-Tuning, but even that can’t stop the irrepressible “Suwe” remix from parading all over your brain town until the chorus gets stuck in the town square’s sulci.

Grade: B+

Best YouTube Comment: “like that…” — Oswald Awounou

6. Olamide, “Rayban Abacha”

Olamide raps in his trademark mix of Yoruba and English over this minimal banger produced by Pheelz. This YouTube version isn’t the best quality, I recommend listening to this streaming one instead. All the better to make sure you hear the references to 2Chainz, Kanye, Wyclef, and Olamide’s own contested vocal resemblance to Meek Mill. Olamide is way better than Meek Mill, in my opinion. Olamide’s got his rayban abacha.

Grade: A

Best YouTube Comment: “dope bro” — noimotu alli

7. P-Square, “Alingo”

P-Square are identical twin brothers Peter and Paul (Get it? P Squared.) who perform as a duo, formerly of the a cappella quintet MMMPP (M Clef, Michael, Melvin, Peter and Paul). They eventually dropped M Clef and became the quartet MMPP. P-Square (formerly known as Double P, P&P, and Da Pees) are currently on Akon’s label. Many commenters claim that Alingo, the dance purportedly done in this song, is really just a recycled version of Azonto, the Ghanaian dance trend from 2010 made popular by soccer star Asamoah Gyan during that year’s FIFA World Cup. Azonto has a pretty open-source framework. It’s basically designed to be personally modified, and variations involve miming mundane things like driving, ironing, praying, and swimming. Azonto is great, but “Alingo” the song is pretty bad.

Grade: D

Best YouTube Comment: “alingo or azonto? well the dance is combine of old school and igbo dance” — ifeanyi johnson

8. Phyno ft. Olamide, “Ghost Mode”

Igbo rapper Phyno teams up with Olamide for this grimy, high-speed chase through a haunted warehouse. I know Genevieve. The real Genevieve. GHOST MODE!

Grade: A+

Best YouTube Comment: “hottest swag olamide” — Edomwande Festus

9. Reminisce, “Ni Gboro”

Reminisce is best known for his hit “Kako Bii Chicken,” which roughly translates from Yoruba as “fold up like a chicken,” and has a folding chicken dance to match. Reminisce updates his 2009 song “Ni Gboro” with a few new bars and sings the hook (instead of Jahbless, who covered it the first time). The skittering polyrhythmic beat by Sarz is four years old and still sounds fresh like ice cold zobo.

Grade: A-

Best YouTube Comment: “this beat is mad men……i luv it….keep it on” — tirstblack

10. Sarz ft. Wizkid, “Beat of Life (Samba)”

Another wicked beat from Sarz with a much better showing from Wizkid than on “Thank You.” If you know you’re feeling this spiritually, let me hear you say yeah yeah.

Grade: A

Best YouTube Comment: “that beat is crazy, thats a true summer jam!!!” — sinosic5

Filed Under: Billboard, Grading the Charts, Top Ten

Molly Lambert is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ mollylambert